No More Soft Touch Regulation



Is there anything we can do about the everyday and real menace of dog poo?

Not really.

Only 13 fines were issued across the whole of Dublin for dog fouling offences last year.

Bernie Lillis, Litter Prevention Officer with Dublin City Council went on Lunchtime with Jonathan healy on Newstalk.

Jonathan Healy: “Now, only 13 fines were issued across the whole of Dublin for dog-fouling offences last year -despite the fact that in 2013, there was a joint dog-fouling campaign that saw ten grand being spent by local authorities to tackle the issue – only a handful of fines have been issued by the courts. Bernie Lillis is a Litter Prevention Officer with Dublin City Council, obviously dog poo falls within litter prevention, if you’re talking to me? Good afternoon, Bernie.

Bernie Lillis:
“Good afternoon, how are you? Yes, it is an offence. under Section 22 of the Litter Pollution Act.”

Healy: “Okay, so, why have so few people felt the heat of the law on this one -let me put it this way?”

“Well, to be very honest with you, it’s a very,very difficult piece of legislature to enforce. Because, what the law says is that the person in charge must remove the faeces, and dispose of it in a sanitary manner.”

Healy: “The person in charge of the dog, I presume?”

Bernie: “Yes, yes, so it’s very, very difficult then for someone – say like a Litter Warden, or a Dog Warden to come along and say, ‘Right so, I noticed that you didn’t clean up after your dog, I’m now going to issue you with a fine, please tell me your name and address’. Obviously, the person is not going to give a name and an address. So what we’re doing now is – we’re moving towards, you know, a situation where we’re going to try to encourage people and influence them, and make them aware that it’s just not acceptable behaviour.”

Healy: “Are you saying now, Bernie, that this is legislation in place that is unenforceable.

Lillis: “Yes, it’s very, very difficult to enforce – and people know that, and obviously, after this interview here, and the fact that I’m speaking about it. But, you know the good thing is about it is, after some research that we’d done in 2013, some 63% of people, always pick up after their dog – 136 dog owners interviewed. They said 63% pick up after their dog. That’s good, you know.”

Healy: “The whole point was that there was a ten grand advertising campaign that they would enforce the law, if they didn’t clean up after their dog – and now we have the person in charge of it saying, ‘Look, the law is there, but we can’t do anything about it.’ Do you need more help with this, do you need more funds, or are you just going to try and rely on public opinion to turn around and educate dog owners from leaving their stuff behind?”

“In a perfect world – obviously we would have more Litter Wardens and more Dog Wardens out there patrolling every plain square that a person walks their dog – 24/7.”



Thanks Nadine Maloney

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54 thoughts on “No More Soft Touch Regulation

  1. Clampers Outside!

    Force owners to have a chip in the dog…. if not done already, it should be.

    When an offence is committed, scan the bloody dogs ear and the fine should go out automatically (that is unless a top Garda quashes it before hand).

    As a voluntary consultant to the DCC I’d like to charge you *whispers in John Tierney’s ear* I’d like to charge you €1 million for this consultancy.

    Dogs pee on me all the time, I am Clamp, see me yellow!

    1. Frilly Keane

      That’s a cracker of an idea Cramp
      Not messing or an’ting
      That’s the jobbie DCC can actually put in place overnight

      Give him the flowers, taytos, grub for two, and all the other stuff

      1. Pajo

        As long as they have someone to catch the offence and do the scanning, the lack of litter wardens means there is no one to do the catching and scanning.

        1. Frilly Keane

          Thats just an excuse
          If you know how to handle dogs then its no problem
          Most Doggies would be with their owners / walkers anyway

          1. Pajo

            So are you saying that anyone should be doing the scanning ? If I am down the park and see someone not picking up after them I should scan there dog? Where would I get the scanner? What Authroity would I have to do it?

            Who exactly do you imagine would be doing the scanning to send of the fine?

            At the moment only litter wardens can issue fines. Clamp’s idea is great if we have litter wardens, and we dont, there is only a handful to save money on staffing costs there wont be any more hired.

            Its not an excuse. If you want to catch people hire more litter wardens or give everyone power to report and fine each other.

          2. Frilly Keane

            Hould’up there

            Parks staff can do the snapping
            And the scanning
            And pass details interdepartmentally

          3. smoothlikemurphys


            If I see someone letting their dog shit on the street, what happens then? Make a citizens arrest while waiting for the non-existent Dog Warden to turn up after I call the hotline?

          4. Frilly Keane

            Ah here

            This is a very easy follow through

            Doggies and their owners / walkers will go the same route 8 days outta 10. And guess wha’

            Doggies nearly always shite in and around the same spot.

            So if ye miss the shitty owner/ walker, a gentle stakeout will catch them again. guaranteed

    2. ollie

      your fee is 1million now clampers but we know that will at least double once Tierney gets involved.
      “Clampers outside” safeguarding your dog poo for your future!

    3. Soft like

      Or make the chip the dog licence and so you scan the dog for its licence and registration. And issue ticket by mail.

  2. jeremy kyle

    What’s worse is I’ve noticed people have started putting the shit in a bag and then just leaving it there on the footpath.

    Don’t trust any black bags you see on the ground.

    1. Custo

      yeah, I thought I stood in dogshite the other day – felt that squish underfoot – but when I looked down I had just squashed a bag.

      Inchicore / Kilmainham seems to be the dogshit centre of the universe.

      1. ollie

        erne st in dublin is horrific, not caused by any of the dogs resident in the corpo flats! those good people are all model citizens bud!

    2. Frilly Keane

      That’s cause there’s no effin bins about
      DCC have either gotten rid or blocked them off
      The park along Bunting Road had no bins at all
      So the doggie walkers leave the poopy baggies at a particular spot for the parks staff
      Or just don’t bother

      1. Mani

        It’s sad. Dogs have evolved to the stage where they can bag their own sh1te but are not tall enough to reach the bins.

      2. Dubloony

        I’ve seen poo picked up, bagged and left on a gate across the road from a bin, flung into a bush or hanging from a tree.

        If you can’t pick up after your pooch, don’t have one.

    3. jonjo

      I was just onto DCC about this last week.
      Bags of dog poop being left all along about 150m of street.
      In fairness they were quite quick about getting my message to the warden responsible for the area. He said he’s be out on monday to clean it up – needless to say the bags are still there.
      What I did say was that since the person has gone to the bother of cleaning it up, tehy would prob be willing to put it in a bin if one existed. Or if there were signs around letting them know their practise has gone un-noticed their conscience might get the better of them…. They said they’d drop some signs and cable-ties into my house for ME to put up. Being a good citizen i agreed… Still waiting on them too.

      1. B Bop

        5 bins along the West Pier in Dun Laoire, and still some dogsh*t lazy owners refuse to bag & bin-despite a regular presence from harbour police.
        I own 2 retrievers & bag&bin in all weathers, as I have a consideration for my fellow citizens.
        It’s even disgusting for dog owners when their own dogs step in it.

    4. Lorcan Nagle

      My parents live right across the road from a gate into the Phoenix Park, and my mum has told me that recently people have been leaving bags of dog poo hanging from the railings of their garden.

      Meanwhile, in a recent edition of his Podcast, Adam Savage from Mythbusters and one of his co-hosts were discussing the lengths they’ve gone to in order to not leave their dog’s waste on the street, including fishing out a bunch of old business cards, or picking it up with their own hands.

  3. ollie

    half a million dogs x €20 licence fee = 10 millon euro. enforce the licence fee and use the money to hire shit removers. simple!

  4. wearnicehats

    Not every dog is out and about with an owner.

    And I know one neighbour of mine who just opens the door and lets the dog out in the street. It seems to like a spot just outside my gate. I’ve tried to speak to them but they just go yeah yeah.

    1. Sheikh Yabooti

      Yep, had a neighbour like that, dog crap on the local kids’ little green. Bagging it and tying it to the dog’s collar soon stopped it.

      I’m a dog owner and I clean up.

  5. edalicious

    I saw a human poo today on the steps of one of those houses at the bit of Baggot street with all the trees on it. Makes dog poo pale in comparison.

  6. Frenchfarmer

    Why don’t they just photograph the offenders and ask the public to identify them or put their face on posters.
    Giving a false address is a second offence.

  7. Gabby

    I’m sick of the amount of dog poo in Dublin. It’s in the parks, on the pavements – anywhere a dog can crap you’ll find dog poo. Kid play on pitches covered in poo because selfish dog owners can’t be bothered to clean up after themselves.
    Cue the dog owners saying “Not my little Spot, I always clean up after my dog.” I doubt it.

  8. f-mong

    I’ll understand how people get so lonely, that their desire for companionship outstrips their desire to not handle another beings feces…

    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      They so crave the animal cuddles and sense of superiority they feel as a living creature licks them – but forget about the poo-scooping.

      1. f-mong

        ..or do they put up with the licking, slobbering, walking and dog food bills just to induldge their scatalogical inter-species fetishes?

        I guess we’ll never know…

  9. Custo

    They should try to make picking up dogpoo cool

    Maybe RTE could make a video where various celebrities are shown having a great old laugh down the park with their dogs, throwing frisbees around, and picking up the poo in a jocular fashion.

    Maybe Kathryn Thomas could nonchalantly toss a little baggie of poo over her shoulder and look back at the camera like a runway model.

    Joe Duffy getting into a right old fuss trying to tie a knot in the bag etc.

    Jedward holding their noses and so forth.

    Then stuff it all down Ryan Tubridy’s throat.

    1. smoothlikemurphys

      Now you’ve mentioned it, Fair “Tacking today’s issues” City will most likely film a scene when a character goes out of their way to pick up the dog’s shit in an overly obvious way.

  10. My Daddy is bigger than Yours

    meh, it’s par for the course in Ireland. Particularly in so called “working class” areas.

    The same people walk in the parks and leave the dog off the leash. They only care about society when it comes to their entitlements

  11. NiloMcD

    doest help that DCC removed all bins along the north quays towards the o2 ehem 3Arena over the past year. Any bin will do,,, that’s across the Liffey.

  12. Kieran NYC

    I’ve never stepped in dog poo in New York. I don’t see an army of litter wardens around either – people just pick it up without a fuss.

    Guess there’s a certain selfish mentality out there.

  13. PPads

    Here is a novel idea, dog toilets at the entrance to parks like they have in London. Dogs will use them but sure that would infer some common sense of behalf of the councils now wouldn’t it?

  14. Chucky R. Law

    They just need some strict training. Pick up the poo (glove usage optional), rub it on the owners nose and say “Who’s a bad boy” repeatedly.

  15. Paul

    DNA database is in use in some parts of America and Germany. The owner is traced and fined through analysis of the excrement. Brilliant idea.

Comments are closed.

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